As we love to point out, Mother Nature's favorite gag is giving vicious predators the bodies of harmless fuzzballs. As part of our duty to make sure you don't judge an animal's lethality by its appearance, we'd like to remind you that ...
6Roadrunners Eat Rattlesnakes
When someone mentions roadrunners, you probably think of a tall, skinny bird that runs really fast, goes "Meep meep" and routinely outwits cartoon coyotes. And while Warner Bros. did get some things right (the birds are capable of flight, but choose to just run around really fast), cartoons are rarely accurate sources for the aspiring ornithologist.
Via Wikimedia Commons
Top speed: 17 mph.
Real roadrunners are smaller (upward of 2 feet long from beak to tail) than their cartoon counterparts, and they're far more likely to be doing the murdering than running from it.
A snake lunging at a roadrunner's face is the same as you punching at a mugger's gun.
The roadrunner just sinks its beak into the snake (or whatever abomination it happens to be facing), promptly lifts it high into the air and repeatedly smashes it into the ground until it is tenderized enough to swallow whole. This technique, according to scientists, "subjects the prey to an outward force away from the center of rotation, in this case, the center of rotation being the roadrunner's face." More importantly, it does it like a boss.
That there, friends, is a goddamn finishing move. It even has a name: the Centrifugal Slam.
If that doesn't work, its manager distracts the ref and throws in a chair.
Roadrunners are the only known predator of the tarantula hawk, a 2-inch insect hellspawn that fights tarantulas into submission and lays eggs inside their living bodies. Roadrunners also eat the horned lizard, a spiked monster that shoots blood out of its eyes when threatened.
"Meep meep, motherfucker."
Once the prey is dead, the roadrunner swallows it whole. Well, attempts to. The snakes in particular are usually too long to swallow entirely, so most of the meal ends up just sort of dangling from the roadrunner's mouth. But don't think that the bird gives a damn. It just goes about its business with a dead snake hanging flaccidly from its throat, slowly swallowing more as its stomach digests the meal.